If you’re in the mood for some decent delivery pizza, you can find a much better joint to order from than Domino’s Pizza. Oddly, to battle a poor reputation (which may or may not have been deserved) a few years back, Domino’s had revamped their core pizza recipes but actually came out with an even worse product, despite some aggressive marketing tryin to convince the masses otherwise.
It is Domino’s vast array of sides, that in my opinion set them apart from the other national chains. Although not all of their sides are stellar, they are distinctively guilty pleasure enough to purchase if my boys try to convince me to order from them.
Domino’s has recently introduced their Specialty Chicken, a very vague term for what are essentially white meat boneless chicken nuggets with cheese and other toppings placed on them. It sounds like an idea I would come up with during a late night walk into the kitchen when ingredients and my desire to concoct something highly elaborate are limited and I create a half-assed midnight snack (“what’s in the fridge? Oh, some leftover chicken nuggets! What else is there…hmmmm….some hot sauce, shredded cheese and pepper rings? I think I’ll throw it all together and microwave it!”).
There are four different versions of Domino’s Specialty Chicken: Sweet BBQ Bacon, Crispy Bacon & Tomato, Classic Hot Buffalo, and Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple. In the interest of testing out the spicier chicken offerings, I opted to order the later two. Since Domino’s has the deal of “choose any 2 or more mix and match menu items for $5.99 each” (which include these Specialty Chicken choosings), it seemed like a perfect opportunity to grab some of these flavors and see if they are worth your hard-earned cash.
What These Have in Common
All of Domino’s Specialty Chicken are, as previously mentioned, $5.99 per order (plus tax and delivery fees). Each order contains 12 small breaded chicken breast meat chunks with oven-melted cheese and other toppings, all on top of parchment paper. That is 50 cents per chicken nugget. While that’s about average for boneless chcicken wings, it’s still very pricy. So as you can deduce, they had better be something very special to be worth it. Due to the melted-cheese-covering-all-of-the-nuggets factor and overall messiness, these require a fork to be eaten.
Now let’s look at each one of our review subjects.
Classic Hot Buffalo
If you have an item called “classic hot buffalo”, then this better be pretty damn good as there is a flood of competition in the wings/snack-sized chicken category furished by pizza parlors. On this, you get a typical orangish-red buffalo sauce, ranch, plus a blend of cheese made with mozzarella and cheddar, and feta. It’s an expected smooth yet tangy blend of taste notes. I would have prefer substantially more kick and tartness from the buffalo sauce, but more something that is focused on being mega-cheesy AND made for the masses, it doesn’t do too bad. The texture of the chicken is its downfall, as you can tell that the breaded chicken starts from being frozen (no surprise here) and the breading, as well as the white meat chicken itself, gets a bit too mushy. I do like the ever so slighty crispy/burnt bits of the cheese resting on top and how it coalesces with the chewiness and smoothness of the melted parts.
I was extremely pleased with this Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple Specialty Chicken. It sped by my expectations with a bullet’s velocity (maybe I had set them super low, but this was still a knockout). The breakdown of this version is as follows: the same dozen breaded boneless chicken pieces are employed, only these have a coating of Domino’s Mango Habanero Sauce, which is less striking the distinctiveness of the namesake ingredients and more of a good, general sweet sauce with a hint of Caribbean overtones. On top of this is melted cheese, pineapple chunks and pickled jalapeno slices. It’s punchy and sticky sweet. Spicy Jalapeño-Pineapple is a very, very tasty option and borders on being addictive. What prevents this from being a 5-star menu item is the overly spongy texture of the chicken and breading. This flaw is minor yet still noticable enough to warm people about. If Domino’s would fix this (it looks unlikely at this point), I would actually order some of this chicken on a semi-regular basis, and not even worry about their delivery pizza. In summary, it’s great stuff!
As you can imagine, all the typical “limited time only” verbiage may apply here; depending on how well these sell, Domino’s may or may not have these available forever, so act soon if you’re interested.